VMFA Blog

A blog by staff and others about the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

McGinness Painting

Sharing Our Art with the Commonwealth

“It’s your art” isn’t just a tagline for VMFA. Our Statewide Program, through which we share our permanent collection with museums, arts centers, galleries, schools, and libraries throughout Virginia, shows just how committed we are to these words. A unique example of this commitment will be happening at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in…

The Mellon Gallery – A Privilege and an Honor

It is always a privilege to install great works of art in an extraordinary museum such as VMFA, and sometimes it is an honor. This was certainly the case earlier this week as I worked with VMFA’s skilled production team as we entirely reinstalled the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon. The gallery walls…

Happy Birthday, John Singer Sargent!

American painter John Singer Sargent was born 159 years ago today. The year he turned 28, the young artist exhibited a portrait of the notorious Parisian socialite Virginie Avegno Gautreau under the evocative title, Madame X (currently in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art), at the 1884 Paris Salon. Critics decried both the…

Forbidden City Extends Its Run and Its Impact

VMFA recently received special permission from the Palace Museum to extend the run of Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures of the Palace Museum, Beijing through January 19. Forbidden City has had a huge impact on the community—since before it even opened—and now the impact of this groundbreaking collaboration between VMFA and the Palace Museum will continue…

Start the New Year with ChinaFest!

VMFA is ringing in the New Year with a cross-cultural celebration in honor of the Forbidden City exhibition. The 10th annual ChinaFest! Year of the Wood Sheep Family Event on Saturday, January 3, will feature nine treasure-making art activities as well as multiple performances and demonstrations. Here are some things that we learned while planning…

The Commonwealth’s Governor Calls on Virginia’s Art Museum for Christmas Card Art

When First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe decided she wanted a different sort of Christmas card this year—not her usual photo of the kids but a painting of the Governor’s Mansion and the family dogs instead—the obvious resource was VMFA’s Studio School.  Mrs. McAuliffe’s executive assistant, Victoria Lewkow, headed to the Studio School to talk to director,…

The Writing on the Wall

If you’ve had lunch or attended a VMFA After Hours performance in BEST Café since October, you’ve probably read—and gotten a chuckle out of—the giant fortunes on the walls. “One that would have the fruit must climb the tree.” (Well, maybe not that orange you just picked up from the BEST cooler.) “It is better…

Happy Birthday, Edvard Munch!

Edvard Munch, who was born 151 years ago today, is best known for The Scream, created in four unique versions (painted and pastel) between 1893 and 1910. But that one agonized figure set against a swirling blue landscape and fiery orange sky hardly begins to represent his body of work—in either its breadth or impact.…